It's Pasta al Forno season! This Baked Ravioli is one of my favourite ever Pasta al Forno (baked pasta) dishes EVER. It takes less than 10 minutes prep and doesn't require any pre-boiling of the pasta. It makes 6 generous serves of delicious pasta that can be easily portioned up or frozen for later. It's my go-to dish for when I have to feed a crowd with little effort and it's also what I always make for Mr NQN when I am about to go away on a trip. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader - once you make it I promise you'll make it again and again!
This version of Pasta al Forno (translation: "pasta to the oven") is easier to make than traditional as you don't have to cook the meat or boil the pasta first. The secret is all in the use of fresh ravioli or agnolotti. I actually developed this Pasta al Forno recipe last year for a client to put on Instagram but I had readers and friends asked me to put it on the blog because it's so hard to search for things on Instagram so here it is.
I make it with store bought refrigerated fresh ravioli or agnolotti in your favourite flavour (I love vegetarian flavours but go for beef or chicken if you prefer) and some jarred pasta sauce (again your favourite one, I love arabbiatta cherry tomato) or make your own fresh pasta sauce, a block of frozen or fresh baby spinach, garlic and melted mozzarella and parmesan. I swear once you make it you won't stop making it because it's not only comforting but utterly delicious. It also doesn't taste like it was quick and easy at all and it is luscious and saucy!
Variations on Pasta al Forno:
1 - You can use whatever fresh pasta you like. I use fresh pasta because with dried pasta you have to pre-boil it before adding it but you put the pasta in as is and let it all cook in the oven.
2 - I love using ravioli and agnolotti because they come in a variety of flavours. Any combo works it's just a matter of your flavour preference.
3 - I sometimes use fresh spinach but I also use frozen spinach because I always have a bag or two in my freezer. If you don't want to use spinach you can also stir through some grilled vegetables like zucchini or eggplant.
I made this Pasta al Forno baked ravioli for Mr NQN as I was headed overseas for a week for work. It's his favourite pasta dish and I love it because it's easy to make and easy to serve. It has plenty of vegetables in it with the tomato and spinach and is a complete meal in one. I can't really make that much salad ahead of time and I feel that it's fine to just eat that for dinner for a week. All Mr NQN has to do is heat it up in the microwave. And to be honest sometimes he doesn't even heat it up, he just eats it straight from the fridge!
The last time we went overseas together was in November last year to Hawaii. I've been lucky enough to go overseas by myself since then but it's always nice if he can come along. So this time after I finish my week long media trip in Thailand he will fly over to Thailand to meet me so we can have our own little holiday to ourselves. We've got a house sitter and dog sitter booked and everything just fell in place.
Well sort of.
Being opposite sorts of people has worked for us mostly. However when it comes to holidays it isn't great and last year he complained that all we did in Hawaii was eat and we had a big fight where he said that he would be happy if he never went overseas again! Hearing that was like a stab to my heart. Travelling is so essential to me, it's akin to breathing and if I can't travel then a part of my soul dies. Although I joke that I like him to come along because I need someone to deal with the bags I really like sharing experiences with someone.
We talked about it and he said that just wants to windsurf or kite surf, go on cycling day tours, surf and be active, usually in the water. I'm more of a land creature so I love night markets, street food, facials and massage. We had to find somewhere that would suit us both. So we have compromised by meeting in Hua Hin a beachside city a few hours drive from Bangkok where kite surfing is popular and that has a lively night market scene. I'll be less tempted to do work as I've already been and written about it so it will be a real, relaxing holiday! Wish us opposites luck haha.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you opposite to your partner? What is your travel style like? Do you have a favourite filled pasta?